SACRAMENTO – Governor Brown’s Proposition 57 has come under legal scrutiny recently in a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge’s preliminary decision that potentially could lead to the early release of thousands of sexual offenders. Today CALmatters’ Dan Walters highlights the ‘big legal snag’ in the governor’s criminal justice reform measure.
When Gov. Jerry Brown was promoting Proposition 57 to voters in 2016, he characterized it as a common sense criminal law reform that would give nonviolent felons a better chance at rehabilitation by allowing them to earn earlier releases on parole. However, it did not specify which felonies would be deemed nonviolent. Rather, Brown’s campaign confirmed that it would be every felony not included on a specific Penal Code list of 23 violent crimes – and that lack of specificity is now backfiring. Indirectly, leniency would be allowed for quite a few felonies, such as sex crimes, that most of us would deem to be violent – and, in fact, are counted as violent offenses in crime data provided by the state Department of Justice. … Were John Doe and several thousand other predatory sex criminals to waltz free despite Brown’s campaign assurances, it also would put a stain on what he clearly hopes will be a legacy of criminal justice reform.
Click here to read Walters’ entire commentary in CALmatters.